Tag Archives: capability mom

Rocky Road – a summer read worth reading – Take the ice cream personality quiz at the end

I do like to read young adult fiction, I can say it because I am pre-reading for my children but that is only a partial truth – I like the quality of the writing, the story lines and the fact that I can read it in the time I could read a Harlequin romance…not that I read those now – but I did in college – by the armful, and the occasional Danielle Steele novel, too. I did say I would read anything…and I have – if you are judging me now, so be it. I also read “grown-up” books and am reading The Elegance of the Hedgehog now. Back to YA…

The last young adult fiction book that  I read was Rocky Road by Rose Kent  – Pragmatic Mom let me borrow an advance copy back in June but I am just getting around to writing about it now – it was already published in hard-cover by the time I got the  pre-published bound copy but it was still kind of cool – I walked around with it casually…on purpose. No one asked about the advanced copy but I had fun.

Anyway,  the story involves a more than usually dysfunctional family (Note to YA writers – you know how Disney  kills off a parent for the sake of the story line? YA writers sometimes rely too heavily on family dysfunction for their conflict), having said that and loving YA the way I do, I really liked this book.  The family was dysfunctional in an interesting way with a lot going on. Tess, a seventh grade Texas transplant, whose bipolar mother (father is not involved in this family) moves them to Schenectady, NY in the dead of winter to open an ice cream shop. Tess’s younger brother, Jordan, is deaf and struggles to make himself understood by their mother who can’t seem to manage sign language. The mom is charming and high-functioning and Tess is an artsy-crafty girl who struggles to fit in.  The story is believable and you really care about the characters – and there are plenty of well-drawn characters here,  A strong sense of community and friendship and good values like hard work and responsibility also run throughout the story. If that sounds like a drag, it isn’t. I liked the characters, the writing and that the author dealt with tough topics – bipolar disorder, financial troubles and even caring for a younger sibling (when you may not really want to) are all interwoven in a way that make these topics accessible to younger readers but also engaging to – ahem – older readers, like myself.

All in all, a good read that makes me want to find other books by this author. I found this one: Kimchi and Calamari about an adopted boy who is researching his roots.

About Rose Kent  –  a native Long Islander who spent her summers in the great state of Maine. She is a former naval officer who also worked for a major food corporation. Rose’s first middle-grade novel, Kimchi & Calamari (HarperCollins Publishers) was inspired by her adopted children from Korea. Kimchi & Calamari has been nominated for the NY Charlotte Award, the Rebecca Caudill Young Readers’ Award, and the Florida Sunshine State Young Readers Award.

Ice Cream Personality quiz that Pragmatic Mom found and I blatantly copied. Thanks, Pragmatic Mom!

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Filed under Authors, books, Books and More, Creative outlets, Feed your head, soul, self, Finds, mom blogs, young adult fiction

It must be synchronicity or something

The world works in funny ways – I have to go to Treat Cupcake Bartreat cupcake bar needham from capabilitymom.com (I know it is a tough job but I will take a hit for the team) because I have heard about it a dozen different ways in the past weeks and because I do love cupcakes and you get to build your own cupcakes so, really, it is for the children. I will report later this week.  I also have to go to Sofra – I am picking up a friend’s farm share while they are away -and the pick up spot is in the store – tough week. Earthquake cookies to go, please.  It is our turn for our shared farm share this week as well so I would love any veggie recipes or we will be eating lots and lots of salads. More baked goods but balanced by veggies, so that’s good, right? Right?capability mom goes to sofra

Then, after I put up the Woman’s Day link to those great food bloggers, another friend sent me a link to great stuff to do in Portland, Maine…from Woman’s Day! Seriously, is it time to look into this august publication again? I don’t know but so far, very promising. The website is well organized and they even make fun of their old covers here.

capability mom finds woman's dayPost Script:
Okay, something is up – I just got back from a visit to the dermatologist’s – just a look at something I thought should be looked at – and while in the waiting room of this lovely practice, I saw, yes, you guessed it…Woman’s Day magazine – so I read it, of course. The articles are good, the writing is very good and I was all set to be tucked in to this issue but the very prompt and professional staff at Krauss Dermatology did not allow a good long read. All the better. I think I should at the very least go buy my own copy at this point.

capability mm finds two great resources in woman's day magazine

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Filed under Feed your head, soul, self, Finds, home, mom blogs, the mompreneurs

Now here is what I am talking about

Why am I Capability : Mom? Because sometimes I am so capable…like today. What happened today? Well, I combined a puppy playdate and business meeting with Pragmatic Mom – we talked about Coffee Shop Bloggers and other social media stuff while our dogs gamboled in the grass. Nice, really. Then, I washed the dog – okay, mostly my helpers did but I drove over-heating (it is the a/c – not engine) Mommy Car to the place where we wash her (BYOD), then I finished an article for InterfaithFamily.com and fixed the dishwasher. Fixed the dishwasher? Surely you mean you hired someone? Phoned a friend? Nope, I fixed it. I was frustrated that it was Sunday and I couldn’t get anyone to fix it (even if I could it would be billed at time and a half) and darling spouse was away in New York with friends. So I found a great site – Fixitnow.com and followed the instructions on how to fix a dishwasher and while that didn’t exactly work it told me that the problem was the floater something – so I rinsed out the screen in the bottom of the machine and threw a cup of water into it. I turned it on and it worked. Okay, no, I didn’t take apart the machine or the water connections but nor did I pay someone $100 to rinse out a screen. Maybe not a professional job, but I think it counts for something. Oh, and I made a nice dinner, too.

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Filed under Feed your head, soul, self

Proving you are a good parent – from New York Times – Motherlode

If you haven’t found Motherlode (the New York Times) do read it now…you may cry. The writing is beautiful and the topic is emotionally moving…Just go read it now. Lisa Belkin can write.

http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/08/proving-youre-a-good-parent/

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Filed under Creative outlets, mom blogs

best 2010 summer books from NPR

Really – all you have to do is click on the image or any of the highlighted text below and you will go to the wonderful NPR site. They are running a special series on 2010 Summer books and here are the topics in the series. Exceptional.

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Filed under Books and More, Feed your head, soul, self, Finds

Recipes for my mother-in-law's pressure cooker which is how I still think of it although I have owned it for almost 20 years.

My Mother-in-Law is a sweetheart and early in our marriage gave me a pressure cooker. She told me that I could make dinners in no time flat and it would be great. Well, I was a little nervous about the pressure cooker’s potential to explode so I tried only a few things – chicken soup was the best –  45 minutes and you have homemade chicken soup – overnight if you really want to skim the fat – but still. (Basically one chicken cut up or pieces you like best – thighs make it richer, veggies of choice – carrots, celery and parsnips, garlic and onion if you like – don’t salt it until it is done cooking). So for years that is all I used it for and I still don’t have a decent pressure cooker cookbook but last week I thought…”Hmmm, I don’t really want to cook…it is hot and I am tired…What can I make with minimal effort that my whole family will eat?” of course the answer – boringly – was chicken. What to do? I bought breasts and thighs and some Theo’s Steakhouse Marinade at Whole Foods and I dumped it all into the mighty pressure cooker. Okay, I filled the empty marinade bottle halfway with water to get the rest out and to cover the chicken with liquid. I secured the cover and turned the heat up. I guessed it would be done in about 25-30 minutes and it was just as I wanted it – like pulled chicken from a Barbeque place. I served it on potato rolls (also Whole Foods) and some salad and brown rice and corn on the cob.

Done.

I am baking today which means I can’t write about it now or I will mess it up – chocolate cinnamon cookies and a strawberry pie (we went to a strawberry festival yesterday at Verrill Farm in Concord) and I am also making a salad for a friend with our farm share bounty – red and green lettuce, arugula, radishes, spinach and scallions.

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Filed under Feed your head, soul, self, Food, healthy

Recipes for my mother-in-law’s pressure cooker which is how I still think of it although I have owned it for almost 20 years.

My Mother-in-Law is a sweetheart and early in our marriage gave me a pressure cooker. She told me that I could make dinners in no time flat and it would be great. Well, I was a little nervous about the pressure cooker’s potential to explode so I tried only a few things – chicken soup was the best –  45 minutes and you have homemade chicken soup – overnight if you really want to skim the fat – but still. (Basically one chicken cut up or pieces you like best – thighs make it richer, veggies of choice – carrots, celery and parsnips, garlic and onion if you like – don’t salt it until it is done cooking). So for years that is all I used it for and I still don’t have a decent pressure cooker cookbook but last week I thought…”Hmmm, I don’t really want to cook…it is hot and I am tired…What can I make with minimal effort that my whole family will eat?” of course the answer – boringly – was chicken. What to do? I bought breasts and thighs and some Theo’s Steakhouse Marinade at Whole Foods and I dumped it all into the mighty pressure cooker. Okay, I filled the empty marinade bottle halfway with water to get the rest out and to cover the chicken with liquid. I secured the cover and turned the heat up. I guessed it would be done in about 25-30 minutes and it was just as I wanted it – like pulled chicken from a Barbeque place. I served it on potato rolls (also Whole Foods) and some salad and brown rice and corn on the cob.

Done.

I am baking today which means I can’t write about it now or I will mess it up – chocolate cinnamon cookies and a strawberry pie (we went to a strawberry festival yesterday at Verrill Farm in Concord) and I am also making a salad for a friend with our farm share bounty – red and green lettuce, arugula, radishes, spinach and scallions.

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Filed under Feed your head, soul, self, Food, healthy